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DeWitt resident on the 'Go'

DeWitt resident Milton Sack, 93, was introduced to the game of Go more than 60 years ago in Baltimore, Md. - and he continues to play it today.

"It's a fairly complex game but it's the easiest game in the world to learn," said Sack, who used to play chess, checkers and other board games. "You and I [could] play a game of Go and we'd both enjoy it because of the handicap system."

The board game originated in China more than 2,000 years ago and is known for being rich in strategy despite its simple rules. It involves two players who alternately place black and white stones on vacant points of a board grid. The object of the game is to surround a larger portion of the board than the opponent. The winner is determined through a point system.

"In a good game of Go, the difference between the winner and the loser is about three or four stones," Sack said. "Sometimes you win by 30 or 40 stones - which is a bad [game] of Go."

A group of Go enthusiasts meets weekly on Monday nights at the DeWitt Wegmans to play with partners ranging from novice to advanced levels. Each year at Manlius Pebble Hill School, players come from near and far for the Salt City Go Tournament, in which Sack played in April.

Professionals can play up to 14 hours in tournaments - there's no time limit when playing for the championship.

"Here [at the weekly meets], of course, we don't play that long," he said. "I don't have the patience."

Sack considers himself an amateur even though he used to play quite frequently. In 1952, Sack and his wife Lucille moved from Baltimore to DeWitt after he accepted a job with Solvay Process as a research chemist. He thought his days of playing Go were over. He was wrong. Sack quickly learned about 44 people in Syracuse played Go - more than he knew in Baltimore. Some participants were employees of Solvay Process, General Electric and Syracuse University.

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